Breakfast/ Dessert/ Dinner/ Lunch

How Could I Get Sick?!

Hi guys, wow what another day. First of all, I woke up this morning feeling AWFUL. Like, totally sick. I could hardly swallow and my glands were super duper swollen. Of course I get sick right now, huh?! I felt it coming on yesterday but pushed it aside and then this morning it was like bam! So, no run…I just took it easy and had some breakfast first thing before heading over to my parent’s house for another long day.


A toasted ezekiel muffin with raw almond butter, raspberry preserves and a strawberry chobani on the side.

On the way to my parent’s house, I stopped at the health food store and got my mom a smoothie with protein powder, banana, raspberry and pineapple (she needed this!) and myself a juice with beet, apple, celery and ginger. I also took a wheatgrass shot at the store to get rid of this funky cold.



I was so incredibly touched when I pulled into my driveway—-my dad had driven John’s car (the love of his life) up onto our yard and had put all his favorite surfing stuff around it. Amazing.


Everyone always said John had two speeds in this old car—-fast and faster. He LOVED this car and totally beat it to hell. All of his friends fondly refer to it as the “XRS” and, man, he went fast. All the time. Gunning that engine and just taking off. Its amazing he lived this long! My dad is going to fix up the car and drive it himself….John would be so happy.

Lunch was a delicious salad my aunt made with greens, chicken, bell peppers, feta and tomatoes.…I topped mine with hummus and had a piece of baguette (made by someone covering my shift at Greenwise) and berries alongside


And then our dear, dear friend Anne arrived from Ohio. Anne was John and my NANNY waaaaay back when John was only three and I was eight. She nannied us for two years but has stayed best friends with our family and whenever my parents had to go away on business she would always stay with us. She’s like my second mom and I couldn’t have been happier when, only four months ago, SHE had her first baby!!! His name is Harold Eugene Fletcher III. Can’t you just see it?!


And I bought a new dress for the memorial tomorrow—-


The second I put this on I knew John would have LOVED this dress. He loved blue and it reminds me of the ocean, his favorite place ever. I absolutely refuse to wear black since I am celebrating my brother’s life tomorrow. I also got a headband with a bright pink flower to wear. John lived every second of his life to the absolute fullest and he loved bright, fun colors. This dress was also on clearance at Anthropologie….who could resist?!

We had tons of family come in throughout the afternoon and about 30 more students from John’s class came to our house as well. I can’t even begin to tell you how much having these kids at our home means to us. They are wonderful. The most mature, kind and giving 19 year olds that I have ever met.

I think the thing that touched me the most out of anything was this though: last year John’s good friend Nick moved to ITALY with his parents. His dad works for the goverment and they were going to live in Rome for two years. Of course John was crushed and the last time they saw each other was last summer when Nick came back to visit for a week. They hadn’t spoken in the past month because, well, you know how kids are. Facebook only goes so far when you live on opposite ends of the world! Well friends, Nick flew ALL THE WAY HERE just for the memorial service tomorrow. All the way from Rome!!!!!! Can you even believe it??!!!!! He bought a ticket last night and came to our home straight from the airport this evening. When he walked through that door he just held my mom for what seemed like hours and they cried in each other’s arms. What a guy. John had the best friends ever. I can’t even begin to believe it.

Dinner was brought over to us again by another neighbor—-catered by a spanish restaurant in town, Valencia Garden. There was enough rice, chicken, beans, plantains (!!), salad and bread to feed 25 people, which was great because we actually had about that amount! Here’s my plate with yellow rice and chicken topped with black beans and hot sauce, with salad and plantains on the side.


I had two glasses of red wine and a half of a cookie (x2) for dessert—


Boy, I’ve eaten my fair share of cookies during the past few days!!! Seriously. I’m going to turn into a cookie. And I’ve had a lot of wine. But its good. Its good to eat and feel normal, even though everything is broken and seemingly beyond repair. As I keep saying, your support is my strength. Your calls, emails and comments keep me going when I start to break down inside. A HUGE thank you to Caitlin, Meghann, Kath, Tina and Heather for gorgeous flowers and to Sabrina and Cory for COOKIES!


And your cards……I haven’t gone through all the mail yet but we all will sit down together here once this week is over to read your sweet words. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Tomorrow is going to be very, very, very hard. I know this. But I also know that God has given me strength to get through because, even though all this REALLY sucks, I still have to hold true to the fact that God will never give us anything we cannot handle. The celebration of life service is at 2 pm and all John’s friends got together with their chorus teacher at school to sing a song and several friends are sharing memories. After the service everyone is coming back to our house for a reception, being catered by a delicious deli, all put together by other mom’s. The love, kindness and support brings me to tears.

I leave you with this. This moved me SO MUCH and I cannot help but to share it with you—-

One of our neighbors that lives across the street has three little boys….we do not know them very well at all (I’ve never spoken to them before!). The oldest boy is six years old and plays t-ball. Well, last week this child was being bullied a little bit apparently, and being told he was a “sissy” to still play t-ball and he had never made a run before. John, of course, couldn’t have known this information. It was impossible for him to have known. Then, just the other day, OUT OF THE BLUE, John was driving by their house and the little boy was sitting out on the steps in his t-ball uniform, looking all sad. John stops the car, rolls down the window and yells out to the little boy, “Hey! You look like a real baseball player in that uniform!” The boy instantly felt so proud, so full of life, that a “big kid” would ever say such a thing to him! He went to his game that evening, shoulders held high and hit his first ever home run.

I cried when I was told that story. John was just so kind. He never knew that the boy had been bullied…..and why would he randomly choose then to roll down his window and talk to him? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks—John was an angel. That was God in John changing lives. He touched everyone’s life he came into contact with and that was his last mark on this earth before God called him home.

I can’t get it out of my mind. Oh, John. I love you so much.

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  • Brie
    April 28, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Take care of yourself. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I will wear blue tomorrow in your brother’s honor. That story brought tears to my eyes.

  • Help Meghan Run
    April 28, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    You are such an inspiration, Jenna, for getting through this so well. You are so wonderful for treating this as a celebration of life and taking what’s positive. Keep going strong, we are all thinking of you.

  • Stephanie
    April 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Amazing Jenna! Keep your head high and strong tomorrow, knowing that your live was that much better for having someone like your brother in your life. He truly sounds like an angel and he’s smiling down upon you all! Many many hugs and God bless!!

  • bee
    April 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    i’m overwhelmed by your grace and strength. i’m holding true to the promise of psalm 34:18, which says that God is close to the brokenhearted. He’s right there with you.

    i don’t know if you’ve reached this part in your esther study (we finished a couple of weeks ago and i’m missing it more than i thought!) but she emphasizes a verse in deuteronomy about God turning a curse into a blessing. taking something that should have destroyed you, but instead you come out victorious and stronger than ever. i can see this in the way you are taking a stance on gun control and so many other things. i pray this continues for you and your family.

    showers of blessings on you!!

  • AJ
    April 28, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    dear jenna,
    I had written you an email a few months back about some troubles I had with my bf and asked for your advice. You so kindly helped me in my time of need and I just wanted to let you know what a strong and kind person you are. Your brother sounds like a truly amazing person and I know his spirit will live on and continue to touch you for the rest of your life. The best advice I can give you is to just keep going, keep being jenna because im sure thats what your brother would have wanted. I will be praying for your family and your brother tomorrow, just like I have been all week long. Your brothers life will be celebrated tomorrow and I know he will be looking down at you and your family.
    Never forget how strong you are
    my prayers and thoughts will be with you and your family

  • Abbey
    April 28, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    You have remained so strong and composed through this whole thing, and I admire that about you Jenna. That last story about the little boy really touched my heart—I wish there were more people like John on this Earth. We’ll all be praying for your strength tomorrow during the memorial service, but honestly you stand strong on your own. I’m keeping you & your family in my thoughts & prayers.

    <3, Abbey

  • Sara
    April 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm


    You and your family remain in my thoughts. It sounds like your brother was as amazing a person as you are. Stay strong.


  • KatieMoo
    April 28, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Wow. Every post that you have written about John has brought me to tears. You are a very gifted writer and I can tell that you love your brother much. I’ve never met him, but I can tell that he was a wonderful young man and that he definitely touched the lives of many. I want to give you lots of hugs and let you know, again, that we are all here for you and love you very much.

  • Amandamoo
    April 28, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Oh Jenna, thank you so much for sharing so much of your life with us. We’re all thinking of you and your family and sending so much love your way.

  • lisa
    April 28, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    i think john just got an extra pair of wings by you telling all of us that story. what a beautiful memory.

  • Kimberly
    April 28, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    That is SUCH a pretty dress. And being the color of the ocean, what a fitting tribute to John.

    It’s not too surprising you got sick, considering the emotional exhaustion you’ve been under… just get as much rest as possible, and keep chugging those fluids!

    I will be thinking of you and your family tomorrow… your strength and spirit are indomitable, and will see you through. Though we never met him, I think all of your readers will be celebrating the life of John Weber tomorrow.

  • Jen
    April 28, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I’m praying that you’ll find the strength to make it through tomorrow and beyond. I can’t fathom how hard it is, but I see the photo of you and Anne’s baby and I know from even that small smile that you’re so much stronger than any of us could have ever imagined. Keep taking care of yourself during these hard times, Jenna.

    P.S. I wholeheartedly support your choice of an ocean blue dress in John’s honor. Black could never convey what a colorful life he lead!

  • Monica
    April 28, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    The more stories I read about John, the more I believe he was an angel too. Even though his life was short, it seems like it was incredibly rich in love and kindness. I’ll be thinking about you and your family tomorrow. I am sure it will be a beautiful memorial service.

  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini)
    April 28, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    John is an angel! And he is watching you and protecting you now. You are such an amazing sister, honoring him with bright colors and all the things he loves. He is smiling and so proud. Love you Jenna.

  • Priyanka
    April 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    You truly are an inspiration Jenna and tomorrow you will be the proud sister of the boy who touched the lives of so many people with his kindness and good nature.

    You and your family will be in my thoughts Jenna!

  • Stephanie
    April 28, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Oh Jenna honey, You inspire me. I keep waiting for you to disappear or fall apart and instead I see strength and grace and love. You surely do have ups and downs waiting ahead; it’s such a huge loss. So don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself faltering at times. But for now, God bless you and your family and I will be thinking of you all tomorrow while you’re celebrating John’s life. Big hugs. Stephanie

  • courtney
    April 28, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    O Jenna. Everyday I check up on you just to see how you are doing, and I am brought to tears by your amazing family and friends. I am so touched just to hear the stories of how wonderful everyone has been and to hear about how special John was to so many people. You’ll be in my thoughts tomorrow… never forget how special YOU are to so many.

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat)
    April 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    It sounds like John was a wonderful person. What a cute story about that little boy. It brought tears to my eyes! The dress you picked out is beautiful, perfect choice πŸ™‚

  • Kodi
    April 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Jenna- What a beautiful story, John is such an inspiration to us all to put others before us and to live and love living! We are all with you tomorrow and my family will continue to pray for you and your family. With love, Kodi

  • Mary
    April 28, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I hope hope hope that you wake up feeling better tomorrow Jenna, I know it will be a long day for you and your family. You have such amazing strength, whether you know it right now or not.

  • Carly
    April 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm


    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, and am always inspired by your spirit and energy. I just wanted to let you know that my thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

    All my best,

  • Kailey (SnackFace)
    April 28, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Tears are rolling down my cheeks right now because of that last bit you shared. You are absolutely right. John was and is an angel.

    I love the selection of a vibrant, beautiful dress, just like John would want or choose (well, if he wore dresses). I also think it’s great you’re eating as well as you can right now.

    Tomorrow you will constantly be in my thoughts, as you have been for days now. I wish you all the support I have in celebrating John tomorrow.

  • Karen
    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    I loved that story about your brother. Just wanted to let you know I’m still praying for you and your family.

  • Jess
    April 28, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Your brother sounds like such an amazing person. I hope you continue to share stories about him with us – they have reminded me that there are some great people out there and that we should take more time to help others. Tomorrow will be a wonderful day for you – even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. I’m sure you’ll find out even more about him that you never knew. (((hugs)))

  • Meredith
    April 28, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    jenna- i’ll be thinking of you tomorrow and praying for you all while you remember john!

    P.S. i have a younger brother who is 22 who just recently moved to california. i called him to tell him i love because i was shaken to my core by your story. i told him all about what an amazing young man john was. today, my brother emailed to tell me he had surfing lessons for the first time yesterday and decided to buy a longboard today. He says “I couldn’t stop thinking about your friends brother. And I was thinking about my lack of experience and the mighty ocean and I thought I could use someone to watch out for me. So I wrote John on the bottom of my new board.”

  • Rachel
    April 28, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    I keep thinking about you and wanting to check in with you – it’s obvious that John has touched us all. You know to expect difficulty and grief tomorrow, but I just want to reinforce something else you already know: you can do it. You will get through the pain and see joy. You can do it.

  • Marissa
    April 28, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    That is a beautiful dress. I love how it symbolizes so many wonderful things about your brother. He seems like he was a wonderful man.

  • Natalie
    April 28, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Wow Jenna, I can’t help but smile thinking about what a great guy John was, but I’m crying my eyes out at the same time. I have shared your story with my family and kept you closely in my prayers. I am glad you can find the strenght and faith in God in all of this. John is an angel and will love you forever.

    With all the love in my heart,


  • amanda
    April 28, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    that dress is so cute! I love anthroplogies esp their sales! I hope you feel better tomorrow. That story with the little boy was so touching, it truly shows he was such a good person! Your parents should be proud for raising two wonderful children!
    God Bless

  • Elizabeth
    April 28, 2009 at 10:43 pm


    Know that I’ll be praying for you and your family tomorrow. Just as God has been with you throughout the past few days, he will be with you tomorrow during the ceremony, and also in the days to come. You have amazing strength and it is a witness to all. John was so extremely lucky to have such a strong sister who has such profound faith.

  • Brooke
    April 28, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Jenna, I told my family about your tragic loss and we are all praying for you and your family everyday. I love the story about John and the little boy! That is just so amazing and touching.

  • Brooke M
    April 28, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    What a sweet story! John sounds like an absolute sweetheart and God was in fact working through him to touch other people’s lives. Good for you to be celebrating your brother’s life in bright colors in honor of his favorite place! I honestly have been thinking of you, your family, and your brother everyday ever since I read what happened a couple of days ago. It brings me to tears that I didn’t even know him or you (only through your eats!) and I feel like it has impacted my life to find the joy in everyday. I send you all my love and positive thoughts for tomorrow! John will be sitting right next to you. xoxo

  • Stacey M
    April 28, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Your stories of John’s enthusiasm and kindness have inspired me to be a more positive, exuberant person. Stay strong πŸ™‚
    “He spake well who said that graves are the footprints of angels.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Heather
    April 28, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Your posts bring tears to my eyes. That is such a touching story about John. So sweet! Stay strong, Jenna.

  • janessa
    April 28, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    You’re an inspiration to us all. I can’t imagine what it’d be like to lose a brother, and not to be filled with anger and hurt. Thanks for showing us your strength.

  • Alex
    April 28, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Moving story and it’s good to see some humor in the blog and you have a great support system like you said and you will be strong for tomorrow.

  • *Andrea*
    April 28, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    that story of john is amazing – it speaks so much to him as a person to take the time to share kind words with a neighbor – something most people consider a waste of time! what a kind soul. you can make it through this, your strength is amazing. and the dress will look great on you – i’m glad you are thinking of john in all your choices. he is definitely look down on you with love<3

  • Moran (The Running Addict)
    April 28, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Jenna I am getting goosebumps from reading this. I am so grateful that you are strong and able to share this with us. God bless you!

  • runeatrepeat
    April 28, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Your brother was an angel. Hang in there Jenna. God bless you.

  • Michelle T
    April 28, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I hope that you are taking good care of yourself through all this craziness! And I hope you’re not getting sick!! It must be SO hard to go through what you’re going through and still take care of yourself properly, but I hope that those around you are giving you all the love and support you need. I wish you and your mom all the best. I have a younger brother by 2 years. He’s 21. I can’t even imagine losing him, though he almost left me 2 years ago when he attempted to kill himself. I really believe experiences like this make us stronger, and I have NO doubt, that you are a strong woman! Take care of yourself and your mom!!!

  • ash
    April 28, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    oh Jenna your brother sounds truely one in a billion,

    god bless

  • Kelly Olexa
    April 28, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Thinking of you and praying for you, now and tomorrow and beyond. God will bring you through this.

  • Jessica
    April 28, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Stay strong Jenna, it sounds like your brother really was such a great guy…..I’m sure he will bless you through the rest of your life and see that you continue to do great things!!!! My prayers are with you and your family!

  • Bec
    April 28, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    What a beautiful dress and such a nice way to honor your brothers life!

  • Michele (aka Raw Juice Girl)
    April 28, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Wow, I’m so sorry you’re feeling sick!! *hugs*

    My eyes are filled with tears right now. I can’t believe that story about the little boy and the baseball uniform! What a miracle!! That was a divine moment for sure! John was a fine young man. I didn’t even know him and I miss him….

    *hugs and prayers*

  • Alisa - One Frugal Foodie
    April 28, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    The dress looks beautiful! I hope you feel better soon.

  • Michele (aka Raw Juice Girl)
    April 28, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    P.S. I forgot to say something about the dress. I totally agree with you on celebrating John’s life–and not being gloom and doom in black. You just wear that beautiful, bright dress and head band and shine for your sweet brother!!


  • Emily
    April 28, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Oh Jenna, John was surely an angel! Thank you so much for continuing to share with us. Because of your strength and through your heartfelt words, John is able to touch the lives of the hundreds of people who read them each day. And how lucky we are. I shared your story with my family this past Sunday, and we all continue to pray for you and yours. Know that we will ne thinking of you tomorrow and sending our love. Your friend, Emily

  • ali
    April 28, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Ever since I first read about the tragedy, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you and your family and John – I have been so heartbroken for you. Oddly though, I hadn’t shed a tear yet, until I read tonights post, and now I just can’t stop crying. John just sounds like such a wonderful, wonderful guy. Not too many 19 year old boys that I know would even take the time to notice a 6 year old… forget give them a dose of pride like that. What an absolute angel – in every meaning of the word.

    Good luck tomorrow Jenna – you know you have people across the world praying and thinking of you and your family.

  • Sarah (lovINmytummy)
    April 29, 2009 at 12:20 am

    How could you NOT get sick? You have been through so much, I amazed at your ability to keep it together.

    I hope you enjoy telling the stories of your brother’s incredible spirit as much as I enjoy reading them. Though of course I am saddened by your loss, I am overjoyed that you have this opportunity to share John with the world. He is continuing to touch us all even now.

    I hope tomorrow you are able to celebrate John’s life, and as I always say, don’t say “goodbye,” just say “see you later.”

  • Stef
    April 29, 2009 at 1:28 am

    I got major chills reading that story about John and the t-ball kid…in a good way! He really was an angel, and I’m so happy you are choosing to celebrate his life tomorrow (in style! love that dress!) Such a cute baby, quite a name he has! I’m glad John’s friend was able to fly all the way from Italy for the service, it sounds like all of his friends have been so deeply affected and will carry their memories of your brother with them forever.

  • Lara
    April 29, 2009 at 2:29 am

    Your dress is lovely. The color is a beautiful way to celebrate his life and love for the ocean.
    I have only been reading your blog since this tragedy happened and I feel like I have learned so much about John, you, and your family. It sounds like you have some wonderful people around you…neighbors, friends, and family. Please take care of yourself, and I hope tomorrow is a beautiful celebration of your brother’s life.

  • Michelle
    April 29, 2009 at 2:46 am

    I hope that you are able to find as much joy as you can out of tomorrow.

  • TonyaS
    April 29, 2009 at 3:11 am


    I am a regular reader of your blog, but I have only posted a couple of times. I just wanted to let you know that your story about John and the little boy across the street instantly brought tears to my eyes, and that I am thinking of you and your family. You are all strong, amazing people.

  • caitlin
    April 29, 2009 at 3:25 am

    oh no i am so sorry you are sick!!

    i will see you today… cant wait to give you a big hug.

  • emily
    April 29, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Thinking of you today, and wishing you strength as you celebrate John’s life. It is clear from your words and stories, and the actions of all of the other people in his life as the past few days have unfolded, that he was a wonderful person.

  • Kath
    April 29, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Hope you feel better soon Jenna. John sounds like such a wonderful guys. You’re an inspiration to us all πŸ™‚

  • Cates
    April 29, 2009 at 5:05 am


    I’m a long-time reader who only comments every once in a while, and I’ve been reading these last few days just digesting what has happened with your brother. I have a younger brother who is a source of love and friendship, and fun, and hope and inspiration, in my life. I truly cannot imagine what you and your family are going through, and I want to send you my deepest sympathy. Your grace and strength in handling this has been amazing and inspiring. I love that you’re refusing to wear black to your brother’s celebration, and I also love that your dad is going to fix up your brother’s car and drive it; what thoughtful and beautiful ways to honor your brother.

  • Beadie @ What I Ate Yesterday
    April 29, 2009 at 5:09 am

    Thanks for sharing that story with us. He was an angel.

    I am keeping you in my heart and thinking of you and your family often.

  • Shelby
    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 am

    Everything your family is doing to celebrate John’s life is just amazing.
    And that dress? Perfect. Life should be celebrated =)

    John sounds like he was a phenomenal person, what a great story!

  • shawna
    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 am

    Thinking of you today and your family. What a wonderful story to share and remember about your brother. You are so right – he is an angel, and I’m sure he’ll look after you and your family the rest of your lives.

  • greenbean
    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 am

    John sounds like a gift. Thanks for sharing his story with us all, Jenna

  • Elizabeth
    April 29, 2009 at 5:39 am

    John just sounds too good to be true — people like that come around so rarely.

    That’s a beautiful dress, it looks like a surfer girl dress.

  • Ali
    April 29, 2009 at 5:54 am

    That story about John is so touching it brought me to tears. I’ve wanted to express my sympathy to you, but I haven’t been sure quite how. I’m truly sorry for you loss and I pray that God gives you and your family strength and comfort during this time.

  • MaryBe
    April 29, 2009 at 6:20 am

    What an amazing brother you had. And what amazing friends and family you have, their love and strength will get you through this

  • Danielle
    April 29, 2009 at 6:25 am

    What a gift your brother was for anyone who met him!
    I love your dress it’s so pretty.
    My thoughts are with you today.

  • Meredith (Pursuing Balance)
    April 29, 2009 at 6:26 am

    That’s such a wonderful memory of John. I really like that you’re not wearing black to the service — just as you said, it is a celebration of life lived!

  • yali
    April 29, 2009 at 6:28 am

    When I was fifteen years old my cousin passed away ( he was 14..similar storry as John’s) he was the kindest most appreciate boy in the world and everyone loved him..many people in our faith told us that wneh this young caring souls go they become angels in the highest to protect us and follow us around the rest of our lives blessing us with their endless love. As I have been reading about John I could not help think that he was meant to become a young angel and I am so glad that you feel that way too. Your strenght is amazin!

  • ttfn300
    April 29, 2009 at 6:31 am

    so touching, it really speaks volumes of the kind of guy your brother was!

  • mel
    April 29, 2009 at 6:35 am

    that is the sweetest story I have ever seen. I love everything about this post Jenna. You are amazing. stay strong my friend

  • Victoria
    April 29, 2009 at 6:35 am

    That’s such a beautiful story about your brother and the little boy.

  • katie s
    April 29, 2009 at 6:37 am

    That’s such a beautiful story, Jenna. It just must be true, and John truly was an amazing person. Be strong tomorrow, you will stay in my thoughts throughout the day. Good luck, we love you!

  • kathleen
    April 29, 2009 at 6:40 am

    today is the day you celebrate all the amazing moments you were able to share with John. the millions of moments just like the t-ball story you shared with us today. i wish you strength today and know that you and your family will be in the thoughts of myself and many others.

  • Lauren
    April 29, 2009 at 6:40 am

    It’s very interesting how those who are taken from us unexpectedly, at such a young age, seem to the most gracious and kind-hearted people. When I was in high school my friend, Drew, passed away at the age of 15. He will always remain one of the most genuine, funny, and compassionate people I’ve ever known. I completely agree with you–these people are angels, gracing our lives for (too) short a time but leaving an indelible mark. John’s kindness will always be present, and he will always be with you.

  • Christina
    April 29, 2009 at 6:49 am

    I have been a reader since the beginning of your blog. I don’t think I have ever commented before, but your strength is simply amazing. I read your blog everyday and you seem like such a wonderful soul. The posts about your brother brought tears to my eyes. He was an amazing person. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • SMGirl
    April 29, 2009 at 6:54 am

    I have read your blog on and off for awhile. Mostly I like to look at the great food you eat. I don’t have access to most of the cool stuff you eat, so I like to drool over it! I always felt a little weird reading but not posting, but I didn’t feel it was a huge intrusion since it was just food. It’s personal now and I would feel awful not acknowledging what you’re going through. I’m sorry you have to go through this. You are so brave to share it.

  • brandi
    April 29, 2009 at 6:55 am

    what a great story about John, and that is awesome that his friend flew in from Italy!

    I hope you start feeling better and enjoy wearing that dress in honor of John.

  • sandy
    April 29, 2009 at 6:58 am

    We will all be thinking of you as you celebrate the life of your brother John.May the celebration and gathering after capture the spirit and essence of John’s life-both on earth and now watching over you all.
    Hope your parents are able to stay strong.They obviously raised lovely kids.May the three of you grow stronger through your grief and continue to be there for each other always with John’s spirit helping you throughout.
    My deepest,deepest sympathy.

  • Meg
    April 29, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Your strength and grace continue to amaze me, and the way you write about your brother, it is clear how much he will be missed on Earth. I am inspired by your ability to view this difficult time as a challenge. The way that you and your family have chosen to honor John’s life is a testament to your faith in God and the belief that John is truly in a better place. Continue to find strength in stories that John’s friends tell about him, and lean on one another for support. I know that John is smiling down upon you, especially today. I will be praying for you and your family today. God bless.

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner?
    April 29, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Take care of yourself, dear Jenna. My thoughts are with you and your family!

  • Runjen
    April 29, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Wow, that story about John and your neighbor seriously gave me chills! Amazing! And what a beautiful example of how we should all be living our lives. It really touched me and made me think.

    Hang in there. I am still thinking of you and praying for you. Feel better!

  • Jenna
    April 29, 2009 at 7:02 am

    I can’t stop thinking about you and your family! I can’t even begin to imagine what a hard time you are all going through. I think it is the greatest that you are turning this into a celebration of his life. I hope tomorrow goes as well as it possibley could! Please take care and know God is always with you.

  • weight and meditate
    April 29, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Jenna, I’ll be thinking of you all day and praying John’s memorial service is a beautiful thing, full of love and laughter celebrating his life. Your dress is beautiful! Good luck, stay strong.

  • Leila
    April 29, 2009 at 7:27 am

    The stories and thoughts that you’ve shared about your brother over the past few days have been amazing insight into the truly great person that he is (not that this was in any doubt beforehand). From your inspiring words, I know that the celebration of John’s life will not stop after today, but will continue onwards indefinitely and that is truly the great offering you can bestow on someone who has passed. I hope the icky sickness passes quickly! thoughts and prayers.

  • Lisa
    April 29, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Will be thinking and praying for all day and especially at 2:00pm. And what a sweet story…that boy will always remember that act of kindness and love.

  • green ink
    April 29, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Jenna, what a beautiful story – it sounds like your brother not only was loved by so many people, but he touched and inspired so many people as well. Although reading your words is so incredibly sad, the thing that shines out for me the most is love. And love really is stronger than death. My thoughts are with you and your family today.

  • j
    April 29, 2009 at 7:31 am

    I just found your blog a week or two ago and this is my first comment. Every single post I’ve read about your brother has made me cry. I can only begin to imagine how difficult this must be. I really can’t think of anything worse, but at the same time, it seems like John was such a blessing in your life and I am so sorry that time had to be so short.

  • Erica
    April 29, 2009 at 7:32 am

    How beautiful! An angel, truly. You will probably never know the number of lives he touched and people he made smile! What a beautiful testament of God’s grace, working right through your precious baby brother! Love & Prayers Darling~

  • Carmen
    April 29, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Your descriptions of how John lived his life are just wonderful. He seems like the type of person that you would be lucky to have as a friend, proud to have as a son, and blessed to have as a brother. I wish you the best today, it is going to be so tough. I hope that at the end of the day you are left with so many happy memories of your brother that you can cherish forever. Many hugs for you and your family. I’ll be sending positive energy your way today.

  • Katrina (gluten free gidget)
    April 29, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Your brother would be so proud of you. Hold onto his memory and cherish the legacy he left, his love and kindness to everyone he met.

  • Carmen
    April 29, 2009 at 7:36 am

    P.S. I know this is probably a bit inappropriate and silly, but your hair looks wonderful!

  • Angelea
    April 29, 2009 at 7:37 am

    I’m crying in my oatmeal here.
    It’s going to be a wonderful celebration of John’s life today and we’ll be with you in spirit!
    Thanks for opening your heart with us. I hope you are able to find time to rest today and heal.
    Big hugs to you and your family.

  • Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats
    April 29, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Your brother sounds so incredibly sweet – you are lucky he was yours πŸ™‚ Take care of yourself, I always get sick when I’m upset and stressed out. Good luck at his celebration of life ceremony! Sounds like it will just be incredible.

  • jessnyc
    April 29, 2009 at 7:38 am

    the story about the little boy is amazing! so touching πŸ™‚ your brother sounds like such a kind, sweet soul. definitely an angel.

  • Fitzalan
    April 29, 2009 at 7:42 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today. That dress is simply perfect.

    (and I hope your cold is going away!)

    Happiness Awaits

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance)
    April 29, 2009 at 7:43 am

    what a great story. It will be a beautiful celebration of John’s life today– how could it not? He sounds like a remarkable person.

    Still sending thoughts and prayers…

  • Kelly
    April 29, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Jenna, Your posts this week have moved me to tears every day…your strength is amazing. I have read your posts to my children, they are 12 and 10 boy and girl and they have been fighting alot lately…these posts have reminded them that life is short and they should be enjoying eachother…I have worn blue today in honor of your brother and I will be thinking about you all day…

  • Heather
    April 29, 2009 at 7:50 am

    You are such a neat person, Jenna. I have really appreciated your posts with all that you have going on. God is good indeed & it reminds us that He is always there even when we are hurting. He knows what we need to get through the hard times & will carry us when we just cannot go on anymore.

    Tomorrow will hurt. There’s no doubt about that. I can still remember when my brother died. I was only 10 (now 37) but sometimes it’s like yesterday. My Mom died just 3 years ago & that hurt is still very fresh.

    During that time, I continuously heard Casting Crowns song “Praise you in this Storm” & was constantly reminded that HE will carry me. Let him carry you tomorrow, Jenna. You dont have to do anything but that.

    God bless you & your family!

  • Chris
    April 29, 2009 at 7:51 am

    What a kid John was, and what an amazing angel you have looking over you now! My son is 10, and if he grows up to be like your brother, I will be very proud mama. My heart goes out to you, and I have a soft spot for your mom. Reading all of this has made me appreciate my kids even more than I already do!

  • Still Life in South America
    April 29, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Stay strong, Jenna. It sounds like you need the next couple of days to build up your strength again. Maybe you can do some basic yoga.

    I think your dress and headband choices are perfect. It sounds like John would like the cheeriness and symbolism of your outfit.

    I can’t get over what an honorable and kind person John was. Your family should be so proud.

    A @ Still Life

  • Becky
    April 29, 2009 at 8:02 am


    I’ve been lurking around your blog for months and never really posted till recently. I came to your blog because we share similar interests and I’ve just realized recently what a talented, expressive writer you are. I’m so sorry for your loss. I think about your family often and you are all in my prayers.


  • Joanna
    April 29, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Your brother sounds like an absolutely wonderful person. The world may be a less beautiful place without him, but it is those beautiful people who touch lives around them that are needed beyond our world. Much love to you and your family.


  • Jacklynn
    April 29, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Jenna, you are so inspiring! I love your faith and that you are trusting G-d! Keep going, and have full faith that your brother is so pleased with you! I am praying for you and your family especially today as I cannot even begin to imagine how hard this day will be for you, may you be surrounded by loved ones, family and friends to encourage and build you up and celebrate the life of your brother. The story of your brother was so incredible, may we all learn from your brother to take every opportunity to spread the love of G-d.


  • Gadergirl
    April 29, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Jenna, that story is so touching. You and your family remain in my heart and in my prayers. I think it is so beautiful the way you are memorializing your brother’s life. I’m glad you’ve been able to run without pain. Running can be better than any therapy, I think. πŸ™‚

  • Red Head, Yellow Dog
    April 29, 2009 at 8:18 am

    That story brought tears to my eyes. Anyone who would do that is truly a special gift to our world. It sounds like John made such a tremendous impact on so many people. And that dress is beautiful. You’re such a wonderful and strong woman, Jenna. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Jenny
    April 29, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Jenna, words cannot express how incredibly sorry I am for you and your family, yet at the same time I am in awe at the wonders God is bringing into your lives right now. It is clearly evident that God is with you all, and He is most certainly caring for your sweet brother right now. Have faith, continue to exude your amazing strength and beauty, and as always, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Lauren
    April 29, 2009 at 8:26 am

    John IS an angel. He is so inspirational. If I can be just half of the person who John was, I will feel proud. John makes me want to live my life differently…fuller, seize everyday, make a difference in people’s lives. John was like the sun. The light that shone through him each and everyday, touched every person who was blessed by his presence. He will be deeply missed by the world, but he will live on in everyone he touched. I will wear something blue everyday this week in John’s honour. My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to you and your family. Much love…

  • Janet
    April 29, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Thinking of you and your family today!
    Your dress is perfect – sounds like he would have loved it!
    That baseball story is so great! I’m so glad you got a chance to hear it!

  • Carrie H
    April 29, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Your brother was an angel, and I hope you hear more stories about how he helped so many others today. I’ll be praying for you and your family today.

    Carrie Haderlie

  • Kirsten Cederberg
    April 29, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Your dress is beautiful and I am sure Jon will be smiling down when you wear it! =) Continue to hang in there, and I think you are doing a wonderful job of keeping the normalcy in your life. I will be thinking of you today and pray that you can continue to heal and grow strength with each new day. God Bless.

    P.S. I would like to send you something, but don’t know your address. Can anyone help? My e-mail is

  • Amy A.
    April 29, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Jenna, you are so strong. I am so glad you have your blog to use as an outlet and so many readers to support you. No doubt, God put this network in your life for reasons you could never have imagined when you first started blogging. I am so touched by your love-filled memories of your brother. My heart is warmed as I read about your brother, his friends, and your ability to take all of this in. I thank you for continuing to blog through this tragic experience because I truly feel like you are helping me to be a more caring, appreciative person by your example. I am thinking of you and will say a prayer for your family this afternoon.

  • Sheri
    April 29, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Jenna, thank you so much for sharing such wonderful stories about John. Everything you have written has brought tears to my eyes and touched my heart! Your dress is beautiful and I will be thinking of you and your family tomorrow as you celebrate your brothers life! Take care.

  • Lisa
    April 29, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Jenna – I just found your blog on Monday and I am truely sorry for your loss. I just wanted to tell you that the last part of your blog today brought tears to my eyes. I have a little boy and just thinking of your brother reaching out to a child and making him feel on top of the world that he could go to his game and hit his first run, well that is inspirational! I feel blessed to have come upon your story and I know how proud you are of your brother and I have faith that he will be with you always! Thank you for sharing your story, it has really touched my heart.

  • elise
    April 29, 2009 at 9:12 am

    what great family and friends you have to get you through this…you are truly a wonderful person, beautiful inside and out. hope you can get over the cold.

  • Lindsey
    April 29, 2009 at 9:20 am

    What an amazing story! That just goes to show, it’s the little things that count and your brother obviously knew that (as you do too). Keep strong Jenna, your brother is looking down at you and knowing what a great sister he has! You and your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • girlatastartup
    April 29, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Stay strong Jenna! You continually inspire with your strength!


  • K
    April 29, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Your dress is beautiful! Thank you for sharing all of these touching stories with us. John sounds like a wonderful young man who touched so many people. He will be in everyone’s hearts for years and years to come.

  • Kelly T
    April 29, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Best of luck tomorrow, Jenna, we’re all thinking of you! Keep using this blog to pour out everything you’re feeling, use this as an outlet. These stories about John are so touching, he was obviously such an amazing person.

  • Melissa
    April 29, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Jenna, what a beautiful story; it does sound like John was an angel! I’ll be thinking about you and your family today. I am so glad you’re surrounded by so much love … that means a ton during unspeakable times like this.

  • Allison
    April 29, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I admire your strength so much! John just seemed like the sweetest guy, and now truly is your angel. Today will be tough, but keep God, family, and friends close and you will get through. I am thinking and praying for you.

  • Jtine
    April 29, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Oh Jenna, this last post had me crying in the office. I never met John (or you, for that matter) but I was so incredibly touched by everything you said about him being an angel and about God not giving anyone more than they can handle – it’s absolutely true. Even without knowing your brother, seeing the huge outpouring of support from everyone who did know him says so much about what a wonderful and kind life he led. You’ll be absolutely beautiful in that blue dress. Stay strong, sweetie.

  • Jess
    April 29, 2009 at 9:51 am

    You’re sick because you’re stressed. Drinking Emergen-C works for me sometimes. Take care.

  • Kiersten
    April 29, 2009 at 9:52 am

    All your stories about your brother are so touching. John must have been a wonderful person. You, your family, and John’s friends are just as wonderful for coming together during a time like this to celebrate how special John’s life was. My thoughts will be with you tomorrow. Feel better! *hugs*

  • jane
    April 29, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Hey Jenna,
    I know you have about a million people reaching out to you right now, and I just wanted you to know I am praying for you and your family as well. May God bring you peace and comfort in this traumatic and devastating time.

  • Alison
    April 29, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Oh Jenna, that story made me cry. John sounds like such an amazing person. And your strength is an inspiration. I hope the service is a wonderful celebration of John’s life.

  • Denise
    April 29, 2009 at 9:55 am

    *tears* for you and your family. I hope the service goes well and you all feel John’s presence. His is there with you and always will be.

  • Allison
    April 29, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Jenna, I am so sorry for your loss. I’ve been reading your blog for a year but have never commented before. I know God is with you right now and will help you through this incredibly difficult time. I’m an Alpha Chi Omega too – know that your sisters are praying for you! LITB…did you ever use that acronym? Love in the bond!

  • LT
    April 29, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Ahhh Jennaaa you keep bringing tears to my eyes…but the tears aren’t really from sadness…it’s like it’s just too much emotion from the beauty of God’s work and the goodness in people’s hearts.

  • Nicole
    April 29, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Thanks for sharing the story! I hope the memorial service is beautiful. Take care.

  • Meryl
    April 29, 2009 at 10:25 am

    hey, lady!

    I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you and your family over the last few days. I lost someone recently, and one of the things that has brought me through it is knowing that I WILL see them again. Today is going to be a tough day, but as you celebrate your brother’s life- remember that you aren’t saying goodbye forever. One day you can give him a great big hug πŸ™‚

    The same God that is carrying you through this time is tenderly caring for John as well. Cling to Him, He is close to the broken hearted.

    you are such an amazing lady! I am here if you need anything.

  • Angela
    April 29, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Tomorrow will be hard, but you are so strong and john will be celebrated. I love your blue dress and it reminds me much of the ocean– John would love it!

  • HeatherBakes
    April 29, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Feel better soon, Jenna! You’re probably just run down from all of the stress. Take care of yourself. Cookies help, btw.
    Love the dress. Good luck today- you’re in my thoughts!

  • Lisa
    April 29, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Jenna, this is all so touching, I’m crying right now reading your post. Your hair looks wonderful and I’m still keeping thoughts & prayers with you and your family.

  • Natalie
    April 29, 2009 at 10:48 am

    How absolutely amazing! I am swallowing back tears at my desk right now. You are definitely right…your brother was an angel. Many prayers for you, your family and friends.

  • Katie
    April 29, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Good luck today. Thinking of you πŸ™‚

  • Sarah
    April 29, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Jenna –
    I too have been reading your blog (and loving it!) for some time but haven’t left a comment. I have been so touched by your story and am thinking of you and your family during this time. What an incredible tribute today will be.

  • Rebekah
    April 29, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I love the stories of John, keep them coming. You are right what an angel he is. Enjoy celebrating his life today, you and your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. And your dress is beautiful!

  • Karen
    April 29, 2009 at 11:05 am

    That is such an amazing story about John. Thinking about you today!

  • Matt
    April 29, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Hang in there! I actually had a small cold when I woke up this morning but it seems to be fading. Hopefully it doesn’t progress into anything.

  • Heather
    April 29, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Jenna, it is so powerful to see how God is comforting everyone already with reminders of how much of an impact John made in his life — like others have said, the story touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Even though he is gone from this Earth, I know John will continue to impact people from Heaven — he already is!!! Look at all the people who read your blog, have heard this story, and are now rethinking their stances on gun control… amazing!

    I know that ceremony will be beautiful, and that John will be smiling down on you in your GORGEOUS dress.

    Much love!

  • Ashley
    April 29, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I can’t stop thinking about you and your family Jenna. When I read this post I started tearing up. You and your family are so strong right now and I’m so happy you are able to focus on all the wonderful things John did and the positive effect he had on so many people. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I hope you continue to stay strong. Your dress is a beautiful reflection of John and I know he is smiling down on you and your family knowing how much you love him and always will.

  • sonia
    April 29, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Jenna, I am really sorry for your loss. May God give your family the strength to cope. Be assured that John is with God above watching over your family. You are lucky to have found so many people ready to support you through this.
    I read this once and have never forgotten it:
    The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.

  • Sophia
    April 29, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Dear Jenna, I’ve been lurking around your blog for ages, and from the little I know from you I can gain that you are a very powerful, inspirational, and blessed woman who is incredibly loved by God. Take heart, because nothing that happens is a coincidence. Whenever there is pain or sorrow, God always has His perfect will and grace in it, and I sincerely pray that you are able to enjoy peace in Him even in such a tragic incident. And all these little sweet reminders of John, and the clear love everyone has for him, should be a comfort to you that John lived his life to the fullest. Ultimately it is not how long, or what we accomplished during our lifetime that determines our success in life, but the people we leave behind, and the impression we made on them before we leave. I think John has had a very loved and blessed life, and be comforted in the fact that he is enjoying eternal happiness and bliss in the arms of God in heaven!
    God bless you and your family.

  • Rachel
    April 29, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Jenna- I’m thinking about you today!! I’m sure the service will be amazing and it’s so good that you get to see everyone. Your dress is gorgeous and I’m sure John would have loved it. He sounds like such a sweetheart. Please know that he is in peace and he is watching over you all. It’s such a tragic story but it takes someone so strong like you to push on like this. You really are amazing. Give your family and friends much love and let them know they are all in my prayers at this time.

  • e
    April 29, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I don’t know you except through your blog but my eyes began to get misty when I read about Nick and hugging your mom. Then I read further and the story of the little boy the tears came down before I even read where you cried hearing this story. I can feel your pain as I lost a twin sister at a young age and than an older brother later in life. You will move on but you never forget….years down the road a song, a place a food, etc will make you think of your brother. He definitely is an angel in your life now. God Bless you and your family.

  • faith
    April 29, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    I was thinking about you, John, and teh cookies on my way to work at 4am this morning….I think John is blessing you with these wonderful cookies in return to finally thanking you for cooking those 500 chocolate chip cookies for his school awhile back :p hehe….SO ENJOY EVERY ONE!!!! *hugs* jenna, hope you feel better soon. continuing to send prayers!

  • Lori
    April 29, 2009 at 1:02 pm


    I admire you so much. You are so strong and your faith so solid.

    Several years ago, I saw a woman on tv. Her face had been severely disfigured because she was attacked by a wild animal while hiking. She said she still believed that God only gives you what you can handle. She continued to say, “… and if God thought I could handle this, wow, He must think I am strong !” That was her response and it just stuck with me. Such incredible faith and unquestionable love for God! Jenna, when you said, “God will never give us anything we cannot handle,” it just brought tears to my eyes. You truly are a remarkable woman with such deep faith!

    Stay united with your family and friends!

  • Alyssa
    April 29, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Feel beter Jenna! I hope the memorial service went well, John sounds like such a good guy πŸ™‚

  • Justine
    April 29, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Hi Jenna
    Due to my own personal tragedy, I haven’t read your blog in about a week or so and was shocked and saddened by your loss. Your circumstance has certainly put my own situation in context. I send my sincere condolences to you and your family. Living in Canada (I live on Vancouver Island), I am thankful that we have the gun laws that we do. Best wishes and support from your neighbour up North.

  • Kirsta
    April 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Hey Jenna,
    Just thinking about you today. Hope you’re holding up ok. Know that we’re all here for you. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Kristilyn (The Food Journey)
    April 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Jenna, I am so inspired by you. You’re so strong through all of this! The story of John telling the little boy that he looks like a real baseball player was priceless and it’s nice to know that there are people like John throughout this world being angelic and making other peoples’ lives better. From the sounds of it, you have a truly wonderful family.

    Your haircut looks amazing, by the way. πŸ™‚

  • Rebecca
    April 29, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Keep hanging in there Jenna! Your strength and faith will get you through this time. I hope the memorial service went well…I am sure it was beautiful! Your family is in my prayers!

  • fitforfree
    April 29, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Your strength and honesty throughout this is incredibly inspiring. And that story is so touchingβ€”your bother must have left positivity everywhere he went.

  • Naji
    April 29, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Jenna thinking of you today, My father passed away in July and it is so difficult but believe me family & friends will help you get through this. Your brother was amazing, just like his big sis!!! God bless you

  • Tamara
    April 29, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Awww, what a sweet story about the little baseball player! Thank you, Jenna, for showing us the mysterious ways that God works, even as you are going through the most difficult time of your life. What a sweet and caring thing for your brother to do. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow.

  • Michelle Hisae
    April 29, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I’m so sorry that you’re sick. It makes sense that your immune system is down – I hope you feel better soon.

    That story gave me the chills. It’s stories like that which will carry John’s spirit through the lives of others. He sounds like a dear.

  • magicanderson
    April 29, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Way to think on the no black clothing, I agree! And what a wonderful life you are celebrating. Many thoughts and prayers going your way today.

  • Katherine
    April 29, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    You are fabulous. I am thinking about you, your family, and your brother today.

    When (insert adjective here) things happen in life it truly shows how important each moment is.

    I have a ring on my finger that says :Enjoy the Moments: It seems silly, but it really works because every moment in life is special and should be celebrated.

    So here’s to life, Chocolate cookies and Wine!


  • Briana
    April 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Aww, Jenna that story made me cry. It truly sounds like John was a great guy and I’m sure he is watching over you and your family right now. I hope you get over whatever is making you sick and hang in there. I hope the service goes well.

  • Caitlin
    April 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    that story from your neighbor is so touching!

  • Rachel S
    April 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Amazing story! I’m sure your brother was a wonderful person. I hope everything goes well tomorrow with the service–you and your family will continue to be in my prayers.

  • Donna
    April 29, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Jenna-

    I thought this quote was perfect for you!

    “We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name. In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone; for part of us went with you the day God called you home. You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide, and though we cannot see you, you are always by our side. Our family chain is broken and nothing seems the same, but as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.”

    God Bless you and your family through this difficult time,

  • Julia
    April 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    I’ve been reading your blog for close to a year, but have never commented. I just wanted to let you know that you and your family have been in my thoughts all day. I wish you such strength as you deal with this unspeakable loss. I know that I’m a stranger, but if there’s anything I can do to soothe your family’s pain (I bake perhaps the world’s most delicious chocolate chip cookies, for example πŸ™‚ please let me know.
    All my best,

  • michelle
    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Awesome story about John! He sounds like an amazing young man!! Be strong Jenna!!

  • Steph
    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    That story is incredible, I have been thinking about that all day long. Thank you for sharing everything you have with us – I think it is a very big wakeup call for all of us. You are so, so, so strong.

  • MelanieF
    April 29, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    For the past couple of days that I’ve been reading your posts, I alway tear up! You have great support! That story was just wonderful. Thanks for sharing with us, Jenna!

  • Cat
    April 29, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Jenna & family,
    Your brother’s story brought tears to my eyes too. His truly amazing soul and spirit is evident in the stories you tell and with the energy you tell his story. Never stop telling his stories! I think you should write a book about his life, his spirit!! I hope you feel better and I’m sending lots of good vibes your way. Keep going strong, your mom and dad especially need your strength now.
    Much love,

  • Fancy
    April 29, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    That is a gorgeous story, Jenna. You are so LUCKY to have such a beautiful story to think about when you think of your brother, and the mark that he left on people. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  • Rebeca
    April 29, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Just thinking about you lots today… Praying for you lots too!

    <3. Rebeca

  • Newlywed Wife
    April 29, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Jenna, I cried while reading this post – I am so sorry for the hurt that your family is going through. My mom died a while ago, and losing someone you love so much is painful beyond words. Your sweet memory of your brother is precious, hold onto it, and think about his life, never his death. If you need ANYTHING, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at

  • Paige
    April 29, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Hi Jenna,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a year now, but I comment infrequently. I wanted to tell you that I’ve been thinking about you and your family since I heard about what happened to your brother. I can’t imagine ever having to deal with something like that and I admire your strength and positivity through everything. I agree; your brother absolutely was an angel. I will be thinking about you and your family and checking in every day. I am sure your brother’s life celebration was absolutely beautiful and I wish you the best.

  • MJ
    April 29, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Jenna – The cold is probably related to all the stress you’re under, so nothing you could have done to prevent it. Have all the cookies you want, and whatever else works for you! Think of every cookie as a hug from someone who cares. Your dress is beautiful, and your haircut turned out just lovely. I will think of you celebrating John’s life tomorrow. What a blessing he must have been to have been so treasured by so many, and you will continue to manifest that blessing through what you do on your own and in his name and memory. My prayers are with you.

  • Caroline
    April 29, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Oh wow, I am in tears. What a life.

  • Jennie
    April 29, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    I came across this quote recently and I love it. I thought you might like it too. Take care of yourself. XOXO

    β€œLet your light shine. Be a source of strength and courage. Share your wisdom. Radiate love.”

    Wilferd Peterson

  • Kristi @ Sweet Cheeks
    April 29, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    absolutely beautiful, Jenna.

    Hugs xoxo

  • meg
    April 29, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    What a beautiful dress! Your brother would love it! My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family!

  • Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food)
    April 29, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    How wonderful that John’s friend flew all the way from Rome to be at the service! I am glad he could be there for you and your family!

  • Oh She Glows
    April 29, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    The story about John and the boy is so touching and beautiful…it shows exactly what an amazing person he was. I love your dress…it reminded me of the ocean when I saw it too.

  • Erin
    April 29, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Jenna – I am so sorry for your family’s loss and I wanted you to know that even though I don’t know you, since I read your blogs I have been thinking of you, your brother and the rest of your family. I loved your comments about John being an angel and I hope that you hang on to his spirit. Take care.

  • jen
    April 29, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    I have to agree with a previous poster…one day you should write a book about your brother.
    There is something so incredible about the way you can write about him…it strikes an emotional chord with us all.Thank you for being so brave to share some of your deepest thoughts.You are one incredible sister.
    I would buy that book and hope the funds might go towards fighting for more gun control laws.
    Our thoughts are with you,your loved ones ,and John’s young friends who would fly across the world to celebrate his life.

  • claire
    April 29, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Though I know that today much have been hard, I hope that it was also a good time with family full of great memories and remembrance. While I was at the gym today, I looked up and it was 12:40 central time…I knew y’all would be starting soon and prayed for your family.

  • courtney
    April 29, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    I’m sure today was a rough day… you have been in my thoughts. Sending you a virtual hug ((((()))))!

  • justrun
    April 29, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    What an incredible story, Jenna. I can just imagine what a blessing your brother was and will always be. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers daily and I admire you for your honesty in sharing this time with the world.

  • bibixs
    April 29, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Oh Jenna that last words about John made me cry for real!!!
    You are so strong, for sharing this. You are an angel as well. Keep strong Jenna!

  • emily
    April 29, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    That story brought tears to my eyes; John was an amazing person.

  • Sandy
    April 29, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Jenna~Prayers continue for you and your whole family. I thought of all of you, through out the day today..
    Beautiful story about John..what a sweet thing to do..
    Take care Jenna..

  • Katie
    April 29, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Jenna, it sounds like your brother absolutely was sent by God to fulfill a specific purpose, and once it was fulfilled, he was called home. I hope that knowledge continues to give you strength. God bless your whole family.

  • Rachel
    April 29, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Jenna, that picture of you made me cry…I can see so much pain in your eyes. I hope the celebration of John’s life went well (as well as it jcan be, at least) today. You’re in my prayers!

  • Laura Brandon
    April 29, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Jenna, I want you to know I was thinking about you all day today. I hope everything was beautiful. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Runninduff
    April 30, 2009 at 3:54 am

    Hang in there! Its so great that so many people are there to support you & to hear John’s great stories. He was so lucky to have such an incredible sister. Curl up with Mikey for a nice nap when you get a chance to catch up on rest. We are all pulling for you.

  • Melissa (Nibbles and Wiggles)
    April 30, 2009 at 7:57 am

    I’m so sorry you are sick on top of this all! πŸ™